“The critic of a genuine Sufi (muhiqq al-sufiyya) becomes a target of the hadith: ‘Whosoever shows enmity to a single one of My Friends, I have declared war on him.’ While one that abandons all condemnation for what is clearly wrong in what he hears from some of them, abandons the commanding of good and the forbidding of evil.”
[Allamah Al-Dhahabi in al-Muqiza]
Since starting this website, I’ve been requested several times to give more information regarding Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai (Damat Barakatuhum). However, unfortunately I have found that biographical information regarding him is extremely scarce. His spiritual and academic heritage has already been mentioned here: Whose Fatwas???
For now, the best I can do is refer to this forum thread which contains a number of quotes from people who have had some interaction with him:
Here are some extracts from that particular thread and from other sources:
Mufti Ibrahim Desai (www.askimam.org)
Mufti Ibrahim Desai states:
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh
The editor of the Majlis, Hazrath Moulana Ahmad Sadeck Desai Saheb Madda Zilluhu is an Aalim of a very high calibre. He has a deep understanding of Shariah. This is clearly gauged from his innumerable publications. Hazrath Moulana is the Khalifa of Hazrath Maseehullah Khan Saheb rahmatullah alayh. Hazrath has been selflessly dedicated to Amal bil Maroof and Nahi Anil Munkar for the past few decades. Hazrath is also engaged in various other activities. It is surprising how much one person can do. Allah has granted Hazrath great courage and strength. He is a person of high level of taqwa and mujahadah. He does not go after position and fame. If that was the case, Hazrath would not have selflessly and openly condemned many wrongs and evils for the fear of becoming unpopular. Many people throughout the world continue to benefit from Hazrath Moulana’s publications.
Television is haram and we concur with Hazrath’s view on that. It is possible that the different radio stations err in some issues. If Hazrath points that out, it should be accepted and corrected. It is incorrect to brand Hazrath of being over extreme when he is fulfilling his obligation on Nahi Anil Munkar. Those that claim that Hazrath is extreme, what is their measure to claim that? If people violate the laws of Shariah and Hazrath rightfully condemns that, how can that be extremism? What do such people expect Hazrath to do? Keep quiet? What will that be then? Complacence, which is a sin.
It should also be pointed out that differences of opinions among academics is regarded as academic honesty. This is common even among academics in secular qualifications. The different views among the Ulama, based on academics is a mercy upon the ummah and should be tolerated. If other Ulama have differing views from Hazrath’s views and both are based on academic substantiations, then it will be incorrect to brand any one view as being an extreme view. While we concur with Hazrath on the issue of television and open wrongs of television and radio stations, we may differ with him on other issues. However, we will respect his view and tolerate it as Hazrath’s views are generally substantiated by Shariah.
If anyone claims to have an academically different opinion and he does not stand up to the academic challenges made to him, that is academic dishonesty and such an opinion cannot be tolerated as that is regarded as academic dishonesty.
Another issue is the tone and manner of condemning a vice. This is based of hikmah and wisdom. At times, the Quran condemns certain wrongs in certain ways, medium to harsh. This is based on what is best in the interest of that time and matter. An Aalim of Deen is imbued with hikmah. He exercises that hikmah and whatever he honestly feels between him and Allah is the most efficient tone in condemning a wrong, he does that.
The different ways of Ulama condemning wrongs, some with softness and others harshly etc. should be viewed in this light. Concentrate on the actual issue pointed out rather than focus on the style and tone.
When the laws of Shairah are violated and people, especially Ulama, keep quiet, that incurs the wrath of Allah. The silence of Ulama will lead to distortion of Shariah and Deen. Allah condemned the Ulama of theYahood and Nasaara for keeping quiet against open violation of the Shariah. Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “This knowledge of Deen will be carried by just people from pious predecessors. They will refute distortions of extremists, refute baseless claims and wrong interpretations of ignorant people”.
And Allah knows best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Mufti Afzal Husayn Ilyas
Asalaamu Alaikum, Mufti Saab, I find it disgusting at the way Moulana A Desai of the Majlis very rudely and disgracefully refers to other Muslims. Cases in point are his referral to Channel Islam as Channel Shaitaan and of Moulana Bam as the Reverend Bam. His recent attack on Hashim Amla, referring to him as a monkey and prostitute is a disgrace especially considering he is a Moulana. Who is he to judge people? Does he believe he is a perfect human being to be able to judge and insult people such as Hashim Amla who has done a significant amount of work to make people see the beauty of Islam. His non-muslim team mates respect him and several have praised his dedication and devotion to his religion and his exemplary character. So what right has Moulana Desai have to insult this ambassador of Islam. Moulana Desai should look at ways of unifying the Ummah and not alienating people. Your comments will be highly appreciated and we make dua that Allah guides this loose cannon that is doing more harm to Islam than most people and has made a laughing stock of himself. May Allah guide him and clear his obviously warped mind. Salaams
Who are you to judge him?
Study Islamic History, you will find that as per the temperament of the people ALLAAH sends a Nabi accordingly – sometimes firm, other times soft – but in the Shariat of Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) all types of people have been catered for.
Thus if one method does not work use another. In different situations different methods are used. Thus Moulana has got his method. His services will and cannot be forgotten. Your definition of ‘Ambassador of Islaam’ is not correct. My suggestion is to meet the man.
Enjoining what is Right and forbidding evil has various levels, degrees, methods and stages. Firmness can be seen in the life of Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum). Actions of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu), Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) and Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) can be read.
True Ambassodors of Islaam are the sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) – read our translation of ‘Hayaatus Sahabah’ for more details. If a person is burning in a house, a robber is about to steal, a murder about to happen, now when raising the alarm are you going to for in for ‘Tajqeed’ lessons.
There are different methods for different situation whilst different react differently. See the severity, velocity of the sin and firstly recognize sin to be sin which most do not know – this reformation is virtually impossible…
Shaykh Abdul Ishaq Hamid
Shaykh Abdul Ishaq Hamid (Damat Barakatuhum) states:
“Moulana Ahmad Saadiq Saheb of Port Elizabeth’s Majlis-ul-Ulama says that the Jihad of the century is to establish Makaatib, and Madaaris. I am in 100 percent conformity to Hazrat Moulana’s suggestion. This is one of the greatest needs of the time. I don’t want to delve into this subject, which, incidentally, is very essential, but the Maktab is a place where, if run correctly, forms the foundation of the Ummat.”
There are currently over 300,000 students studying at his maktab madrasahs which are mostly (purposefully) located in remote areas where the Christian NGOs are carrying out their missionary activities. He has had over one Million children complete the course so far.
“There is no doubt as to the authenticity of the Fataawaa of Bare Hadhrat (Maulana Saadiq). I can guarantee any person, if he follows the views of Maulana with regards food and drink, then yes; he will end up having to leave off many things which he had liked, but he will never fall into Haraam. Maulana’s views with regards to food are the harshest views, but they are the safest.
Maulana often issues Fataawaa on the basis of what is known in Sharee`ah as “Sadd-uz-Zaraa’i” (Closing the door which leads to evil). If he sees that some permissible action might lead towards Haraam and Ma`siyat, then he gives a Fatwa against it and condemns it, despite the fact that the other `Ulama might support it, and this is from his Firaasah (fore-sight).”
“Maulana is extremely busy right now, and is out of Port Elizabeth for many days at a time, so currently he does not find the time to write. Maulana told me that these days, he only sleeps approximately two hours a day.
@ SeekerOfGuidance: Bhai, I’m sure he is actually a bit older than that. But what is both surprising and wonderful is the fact that even at his extreme old age, he is still fitter and stronger than most young men. Maulana never drives in a car nor does he accept lifts from people; he walks. And Hadhrat never walks slowly, it is always a very brisk walk. I have heard that even at this old age, Maulana is still capable of performing 120+ push-ups with ease, and from what I know of Maulana, I can believe this.”
Shaykh Ismail Ibrahim Patel al-Salafi (al-Hanafi)
Despite being a victim of one of Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai’s devastating refutations (see here: Lies, Distortions, and Slanders of the Salafi Sect), he still felt constrained to open a forum thread specifically in appreciation of Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai – presumably after reading a bit about him:
“I want to highlight his Walaa and Baraa, the sacrifices he’s gone through in life, and his love for the Deen of Allah. He is better than me and most people out there no doubt, and he is most certainly a billion times better than all those Salafis.
And of course, besides the insults, his legendary usage of the English language.
Before anybody starts neg-repping me, may I remind you the Mufti AS Desai is the one is in the middle of refuting me as we speak. Politely disagree with the premise of this thread, if you may.”
Comments from students, mureeds, and others
Brother Muadh Khan (aka Colonel Hardstone from Muftisays.com) reports this from a brother:
“I met Hazrat Maulana AS a couple of weeks back. He is absolutely a Wali of this time. Where would you find a person in this age with plain clothings, I counted 4 or 5 patches on his clothing. his hair was extremely oiled as though he just took a shower. He reminded me of the ahadeeth about Nabi salallahu alayhi wasallam. He was more like bubbly, would talk in hyperness. Extremely witty. Walked with firmly grounding his foot. When he met Mufti XXX’s son the first thing he did was masnoon dua. In the entire time I spent in his company, I grew more and more closer to him. I felt being drawn to him like a magnet. His talk was none of the vocabulary of his writing, but simple English. At time he would explain something trivial but somehow the way he would speak would convince us.
He reminded me of no one but a Wali of Allah. Extremely Mutabi’ sunnah, and pleasant to be in company of. Firm on his stance.”
A mureed states:
“Moulana is a 72 year old,South African(3rd generation iirc) aalim who is a senior khalifah of Ml.Maseehullah Khan Sherwani(r.a.).Moulana gained his initial prominance due to Ml.Maseehullah(r.a.) fondness of him. Moulana was one of the most hard working students in the madressah, completed his studies and was given Ijazah in a very short period of time. Moulana has been involved in various branches of deen. Moulana is a sheikh of tasawwuf,was/is involved in the ta’leem of children,maktab and other levels iirc, also through his awake magazine and al-haq,al-majlis and other publications. Moulana has compiled plenty of books on different speres of deen, including fatawa, tasawwuf, ibadat, responses to baatil, fiqh, aqeedah and many more.
Moulana was also involved in jihad, running jihad camps in the mountains of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa,and he had links to several of the afghan mujahideen. I am not sure if he spent time in afghanistan just as an observer or if he was active in the actual jihad against the soviets. Moulana is a vocifirous votary of the caucus mujahideen. Moulana also runs a humanitarian organisation known as SOSH/servants of suffering humanity. Moulana also runs an extensive project which is known as the maktab project. It is run in many countries, primarily in bangladesh and impoverished muslim communities that have little deen and where christian missioneries are active. In 1999, there were 600 maktab madrasahs run by moulana. I don’t know about the present situation.
It was during one of moulanas visits to the madrasahs in bangladesh that Moulana was arrested and imprisoned in Bangladesh by the CID of Bangladesh and the CIA. Moulana was improsened for 6 months without being formally charged and he was stuck in Bangladesh for another 6 months as his passport was confiscated. During Moulanas detention, he was continously interrogated for 29 days by CID,during which sleep depravation e.t.c. were employed. He was thereafter interrogated by the CIA.During the CIA interrogations he was taken to an elite suburb of Dakha. Amongst the things he was accused of were: Financing al-qaida and Usama Bin Laden; Owning diamond mines with Usama; funding jihad throughn his ‘diamond mines’; conspiring to overthrow the bangali government, assasinating intellectuals, secularists, senior millitary officials e.t.c.; Being part of Usama’s command structure; establishing 421 jihad training units in Bangladesh e.t.c..During Ml. imprisonment, he had the full support of the S.A. govt. and the embassy in Delhi. Embassy officials were sent to report on his well-being and to liase with his legal team and inspect his madrasahs.
Moulana gained a lot of stick during the late 90′s from other deobandis. Moulana was involved in a controversy.He was part of a fact finding mission(of his organisation) to afghanistan. His report on the taliban was critical.He was critical of their ‘wastage of food’, misappropriation of funds, tolerance of bid’ah, acceptance of bay’ah of the shiahs, allowing televisions to be transported through afghanistan,’forsaking the salafi mujahideen on the pretext of them being salafi’ e.t.c. However, in 2000/2001 iirc, when the taliban ‘corrected’ some of these issues he praised them.
Moulana has travel restrictions placed on him.
Moulana is very strict in his fatawa and very harsh in his language. It is not appropriate for laymen to desrespect ulama/certain ulama on the basis of his writings. May Allah unite the ulama on haq.
A sister relates an interesting incident:
“Okay, of course i’m going to relate an incident about Ml Ahmed Saadiq Desai of the majlis…..
A certain relative, living in port elizabeth close to ml desai told me this herself…. It was a freezing cold day and her husband went to see moulana for some work. She decided to wait outside moulanas home in the car, since they intended to go shopping thereafter.
Earlier that day her house doorbell rang, and there outside stood this dirty smelly drunkard. Because of the way this guy looked and he was obviously a bit drunk, they (her husband and her) didnt give him anything or even opon the door at all.
Now while she’s sitting in the car, she see’s this same man ringing moulana’s doorbell. Moulana comes and opens the door, asks the guy to take a seat on his doorstep and goes back indoors. After a few minutes he returns with sandwiches and a steaming mug of coffee and serves this drunkard himself. The man eats his fill and leaves happily.
My relative said after observing all this, she sat i the car fighting back tears because of the way this incident touched her and caused her to feel guilty about her own insensitivity. She and so many other neighbors like herself, did not bother to give this person a second look and probably even looked down upon him for being a drunkard on the streets, and yet moulana, in spite of being so busy, left all his work aside and made time to prepare a meal and himself serve him… (!)”
The same sister gives the following information regarding him:
“Ml desai is a senior khalifah of moulana maseehullah khan sahib (R.A). after completing his studies he was set to go to America and become a lawyer, he went to india for some reason and visted ML maseehullah R.A, who made a great impression on his life. Ml maseehullah (R.A) took an immense liking to him and asked him to stay on and do his aalim course… and ml stayed, completed his aalim course and got khillafat.
Ml is very strict on the shariah (who doesn’ know that!) and he is an extremely busy man, he does A LOT of deen work, runs thousands of maktabs and madaaris throughout the world, writes and translates loads of literature, has to reply to dozens of correspondence’s etc. Every day… and yet he finds time to personally cook a pot of food for the poor every morning and make it into sandwiches, the beggers of the town know ml’s home and come to fetch their sandwiches when they are hungry.
Forget the beggars, ml feeds the wild birds who visit his yard everyday and he has soo much of taqwa and concern for the creation that when he goes to Durban and Johannesburg (which he does regularly) he gives the responsibility of feeding the birds every morning to his neighbor so that when those birds who are accustomed to finding their food come, they do not leave his yard disappointed! Subhanallah! remember we not talking about a guy who has time to sit on his porch and count the stars, this is a man drowning in work!!!
Ml only sleeps 2 hours per night and spends the rest of the night in ibaadah, my friend told me that she saw the musallah which ml uses to perform nafl salaah on, and that musallah has been used soo much that there are literally HOLES by the feet, hands and forehead places on that musallah! Also ml fasts every day except twice a week for years, unless he is travelling or seriously unwell etc.
He lives extremely simple and is very humble, wears and patches his clothes until he can’t use them anymore. ML’s entire house is bare of all unnecessary furniture (including couches and kitchen units!) every single room in his house (except his bedroom) resembles a library, almost the entire house, including the passage, has shelves from ceiling to floor and is lined with kitaabs upon kitaabs. He generally walks to the masjid for salaah. Eid nights he remains awake the entire night in ibaadah and deeni work. Also ml is constantly conscience of death, an example is: someone asked him why do you travel by car when going to Durban and Johannesburg (a 10 – 12 hour journey by car) instead of taking a flight? He replied that he won’t do so becoz he wouldn’t like maut to find him whilst in the plane amongst the kuffaaar and their liquor and nudity etc. he rather take the long journey and be safe!
insha-ALLAH when i get more info on ml i will post…
A brother who has been deeply influenced by the Maulana states:
“There are many scholars who are able to give the most inspiring speeches in which the whole audience is captivated and left buzzing for hours afterwards, brimming fully with jazba, ready to change the whole world. However, within a few hours of the talk, all that jazba dissipates away and changing just one’s own habit of sleeping through tahajjud and fajr time becomes an insurmountable task. On the other hand, there are Auliyah (friends of Allah) who hardly speak, but the few words that come from their pure heart, create a life-long effect on countless people.
I never really understood this concept until I started reading the writings of Mufti A. S. Desai (Damat Barakatuhum). Despite the fact that he is alone in some of his opinions, and I have still yet to come to terms with the tone and style of his writings, he has had quite an effect on me personally. One example is Mufti Saheb’s stance against fizzy drinks. Ever since I read just the introduction of his book on fizzy drinks (I left the rest for later which I haven’t come round to finishing yet), probably more than five years ago, I haven’t drank a drop of fizzy drink.
The strangest thing has been that, even though all my favourite drinks were fizzy, this abstention has not been difficult at all and I can’t really recall having to do any mujaahadah at all in all these years, even when I’ve been extremely thirsty and the only drink in front of me was my favourite one.
I’m convinced that Mufti Saheb is a Wali of Allah.”
“…it is important that while witnessing many of Ulama treading the path which Shaytaan led the Barelwis through, we do not react towards the other extreme and become duped by the very same Shaytaan into treading the path of the Salafis – Surah Fatihah is the greatest protection from being diverted to one of these two extremes.
Our Akaabir gave a very simple prescription for the kind of tasawwuf to be adopted when the majority of the ulama are charlatans: Until the Saalik finds a Shaykh (and they will always be around no matter how rare) who is unwaveringly uncompromising and firm on the Shar’iah, he must adopt patience and acquire the ‘Suhbat’ of the Auliyah by reading their accounts abundantly. Once the Saalik finds a Shaykh, he should hold on to him like the most precious thing in his life.
Now, regarding Mufti Desai, if you have the means to visit him you should do so. Brother Ibrahim visited him recently and mentioned that he has never come across anyone like him and that he reminds one of the stories from the Salaf. His works and writings testify that he really does not belong to this age and is a relic from the past.
I have read enough from him to also believe that he is a man of tremendous baseerat and perhaps even kashf. Some of what he writes regarding the spiritual aspects of sins and good deeds are written as if he is directly witnessing them himself – your question regarding speaking during sexual relations is just one such example.
There are also innumerable examples that I can mention where he predicted events many years before they had materialised. More than 7 years ago when he was speaking about Iraq and the Azaab of the Allah (azza wa jal) that struck them due to their actions, he stated clearly that Syria would be next. He had also predicted, more or less, that an enemy power would displace the Talibaan, though only momentarily, as a result of their relaxations of the Shari’ah.
You will not find a Mufti, at least in the English-speaking world, who is more outspoken and prolific in his writings in expressing his support and love for the Talibaan whom he believes to the closest in the world to Islamic teachings. Despite having mureeds involved there since the time of the Russian invasion, he was completely shocked when he went there and directly witnessed many of their transgressions.
In advising them privately and publically, he was desperately attempting to avert the punishment of Allah (azza wa jal) from descending upon them. The fact that his love for them did not deter him from speaking the Haqq speaks volumes. Within months of his Naseehat, Allah’s azaab did arrive in the form of America.
The funny thing was that while the whole word, including some our ulama, was lambasting and criticizing the Talibaan for being too strict and ‘fundamentalist’, Mufti Saab was criticizing them for being too liberal! And his criticisms were completely justified when you read about the terrible transgressions he himself had directly witnessed…”
A student states:
“Salaams brothers.indeed is true what that Moulana Desai is a extremely learned and respected man,if i may say one of the most pious aalim that ive ever met in my life.i have been in the madrassah in De Deur for 4 years and have personally known respected Moulana Ahmed Sadiq Desai Saheb.There is so much i can say about Moulana but you have got to meet him yourself to really see what i mean.i am not sure if all you brothers know about Moulanas past,but its been really difficult for Moulana,although Moulana has been in jail for a number of years,he hasnt went off track even one bit and for this reason hes respected so much….if any brothers require any info about Moulana please contact me.Jazakallah.Request all brothers to make dua for the ummah.wslm”
Harshness Against Deviance
Even a perfunctory reading of the lives of the Salafus Saaliheen will provide ample backing for Maulana Ahmad Sadeq’s harshness against deviance. The following is a couple of letters by him explaining his methodology:
Your e-mail dated 12 March 2011 refers. While we do not answer letters questioning our attitude and methodology, we shall go this extra mile to assist you to understand reality.
People who have no real intention of following the Deen, present the excuse of ’harsh attitude’ and ‘akhlaaq’ to justify their misdeeds. With this red herring they deflect the minds of people from the problem and the corruption.
For example, when a Molvi sits in a church under twelve crosses alongside priests and engages in prayers, these critics do not see the harshness, the lack of akhlaaq and the kufr of this practice. But when someone criticizes the kufr, he is reviled on the basis of his ‘harshness’.
When molvies commit capital kufr by abrogating the ahkaam of the Shariah with their kufr MMB, people accept such harsh perpetration of kufr. But when we criticize this perpetration, we are reviled for being ‘too harsh’. Furthermore, what you are blissfully unaware of is that our ‘harsh attitude’ is instituted after all other methods of consulting and convincing the miscreants have failed. When they are not prepared to listen and meaningfully discuss in privacy, then our ‘harsh’ attitude becomes Waajib, nay Fardh.
Since all of these critics enjoy the haraam activities which the molvies have halaalized nowadays, they try to justify and defend the evil practices and the errant molvies. But in the process of doing so they are unable to refute our arguments. They only harp on our attitude and methodology. In this way they detract attention from the problem.
Our attitude is commensurate with the crime. If our tone appears to be ‘too harsh’, then their crime is too vile. The attitude is the effect of the villainy of the sin.
Most people fail to understand the permissibility, efficacy, and necessity of the ‘harsh’ attitude because they lack knowledge of the variety of attitudes among the Ambiya and the Sahaabah. While they harp on one dimension of Rasulullah’s attitude, they are ignorant or deliberately blind to the other ‘harsh’ dimension which dictated even gouging out the eyes of criminals. They forget that in Daarul Islam the consequence of the type of kufr they are perpetrating nowadays is execution with the sword. We do not know if execution with the sword is ‘too harsh’ or within the confines of ‘good akhlaaq’. We do not know if whipping in the public is perhaps ‘too harsh’ or not within the limits of ‘good akhlaaq’.
Once Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) remarked to a person who looked into the house, that he felt like throwing a scissors into his eyes. Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that hot iron rods will be inserted into the eyes of a man who looks at the beauty of a strange woman. Are these comments perhaps ‘too harsh’, and do they not form part of ‘good akhlaaq’.
Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) without making the slightest investigation to establish the factual position grabbed hold of the hair and beard of Nabi Haaroon (alayhis salaam), his elder brother, and violently shook him. Allah Ta’ala did not upbraid him for this act. Allah Ta’ala upheld it. Was his violent act against his elder, Nabi brother perhaps ‘too harsh’. Was his action beyond the confines of ‘good akhlaaq’?
When the Qur’aan and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) describe the believers and doers of immorality and kufr to be kaafiroon, fasiqoon, faajiroon, jaahiloon, munaafiqoon, etc., are these epithets ‘too harsh’ and beyond the confines of ‘good akhlaaq’?
Is the halaalizing and consumption of rotten, diseased haraam carrion a tolerable deed? Is it not ‘too harsh’ to make halaal what Allah has made haraam’. Does ‘good akhlaaq’ allow that we feed carrion and poison to your children? If your beloved child is about to ingest a lethal poison and we who are observing this suicidal act leave the child to consume the poison because he/she refuses to accept our soft and ‘akhlaaqi’ approach to abstain from the poison, will you praise and commend us for our ‘good akhlaaq’ and not adopting ‘too harsh a tone’, when you see the dead body of your child – dead because of the poison and dead because we contented ourselves with ‘good akhlaaq’? Or will you praise us and shower on us other rewards if we had harshly grabbed your child’s hand and rudely snatched the poison from his hand and left him kicking up a tantram like Sanha and Radio Shaitaan?
Once when a molvi said that he felt like becoming a Christian, Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (rahmatullah alayh) gave him a full and a hard clout full in the face and shouted at him: ‘Shaitaan! Get away and become a Christian!’ Those who have read the writings of Hadhrat Thanvi can testify to his ‘too harsh’ attitude. So ‘harsh’ was his attitude and methodology that even The Majlis would not have become his mureed if it (The Majlis) had existed during Hadhrat’s lifetime. Was the action and attitude of Hadhrat Hakeemul Ummat then ‘too harsh’ and beyond the confines of ‘good akhlaaq’ merely because we may not be able to tolerate it?
Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh) said in his fatwa that those who believe against and propagate against polygamy like the MMB crowd, will ‘hang upside down in Jahannum’; they are ‘kaafirs, murtads, enemies of Allah, enemies of the Rasool,etc., etc.’ Was his attitude ‘too harsh’ and beyond the limits of ‘good akhlaaq’?
Brother, we can write a volume of examples from the lives of the Ambiya, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the Sahaabah and the Auliya to show the beloved ‘harsh attitude’ which by Allah Azza Wa Jal is an act of ibaadat of the highest merit. You will not hesitate to permit the doctor to treat you harshly by stabbing into your body and cutting you up and opening up your heart to save you from the disease which threatens to destroy you. Because you understand physical and worldly benefits, you will praise and reward the doctor who had treated your harshly. But since deep down in your heart Deeni benefit is an insignificant issue, the ‘harsh attitude’ argument is a convenient scape-goat for justifying the maladies of kufr, fisq and fujoor. But when we adopt ‘harsh attitudes’ to operate on Muslims who are suffering from spiritual cancer and spiritual Aids, then there is a clamour of baseless criticism.
People should look at their crimes and their harsh attitudes of pride and arrogance, not at our ‘harsh’ remedial attitude. The problem, disease and cancer are their sins while our ‘harsh’ attitude is the medicine and the cure for the malignant cancer which is devouring their hearts, souls and bodies.
Mujlisul Ulama of S.A.
Your e-mail dated 24-01-2009 refers.
Islaah of the Nafs is of paramount importance. In all spheres of life, whether in business, in family affairs, or Deeni matters, never be neglectful of this aspect. It is essential to always examine the intention and the motive. Even when embarking on a Deeni project, reflect, do some soul searching and endeavour to fathom yourself to detect whether the niyyat is sincere or contaminated with some nafsaani motive.
When a person always adopts the practice of reflection before action, then after some time Allah Ta’ala bestows to him the capacity of swift detection of any thief which may be lurking in his heart. When we criticize those whom we believe are on baatil, we should do so with trepidation, recite Istighfaar and think deeply before the criticism to ascertain whether the criticism is indeed motivated by Ikhlaas and by a concern for the Haqq.
It is best and safest for laymen to strictly adhere to the issue and not deflect therefrom. For example, when you criticize Sanha, only point out to them their flaws, their errors and the harm they are causing with their halaalization projects. Do not degenerate to a personal level where you will brand them with labels and epithets in the way in which we (Mujlisul Ulama) do. We have our own Deeni agenda and we understand what we are doing. It is not for everyone to adopt our methodology.
If for example a person’s father is committing haraam, then it is the duty of the son to offer naseehat. He shall plead and advise his father. He will speak with affection and respect, addressing his father appropriately. If his father consumes liquor, he may not begin his naseehat by saying: “Drunkard! Faasiq, Faajir! On the other hand, if the father admonishes his son for the latter’s misdemeanours, it will be proper for him (for the father) to say: ‘O faasiq! O shaitaan!, etc. etc.
Thus if a layman admonishes a Molvi who has strayed, he should not address him as we do, e.g. ‘Ulama-e-Soo!, etc. Relationship, rank and position should be taken into consideration when criticizing. Everyone does not have the same right of acquittal.
Furthermore, make dua of hidaayat and general goodness for those who are being criticized and for those whom we believe to be on baatil, and at the same time supplicate for our own safety and protection of Imaan, for we do not know what the morrow holds for us.
So, do speak out strongly against baatil, but restrict the criticism to the acts and save the culprits from epithets. Don’t imitate our example in this respect…
Umme Ahmad.. I can only comffirm the above, ev though we never had the cahnce to meet our hadhrat wala, but he has been to us like father, guiding us toward the haqq with frimness and love at the same time. He is e very concerned Musalim and allim of the highest decree. The kind you read about in the books of the elders of Deoaband.. May allah Ta’ala always protect him, his family, his follwerrs and lnver let him stray..Ameen